Kasey Kahne announced his retirement Thursday morning much to the dismay of mid-30’s waffle bellies everywhere. One thing Kahne didn’t mention in his retirement statement were options to drive in the Cup series next year.
According to multiple outlets, Kahne turned down a top-tier ride and a two-year option at his current team. Instead, the kid from Washington will retire and explore racing outside of NASCAR.
Who was that top-tier team though?
Kasey Kahne is so done with NASCAR he turned down the chance to talk to SHR about the seemingly vacant #41 for next year. It likely would have been a 1-year deal keeping the seat warm for Cole Custer. You can’t help but think what Kahne could do in that car though. Aric Almirola looks like a completely different driver this year because of the equipment.
Kahne excelled in his one year deal with Red Bull Racing, one win and a handful of top-10’s is more than anyone else did at RBR. Not to mention Kahne looked genuinely happy that season too. Which could have just been that Hendrick paycheck too.
But one last hurrah at a top-notch team would have been fun to watch. No expectations, no worrying about next year’s contract. Just go out there and hang it all out (a restricted version of course) and see what happens.
It’s a bold move to step away from two contracts and it sounds like Kahne is content with his decision. Maybe NASCAR’s decision to use the plate package next season factored into that decision. Or maybe it was the length of the schedule. Either way, Kahne had an interesting Cup career, maybe he never lived up to expectations but he did more than most.
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